Danske Bank reports improved results for 2013

Friday 07 February 2014 09.36
Danske Bank's CEO Thomas Borgen says financial results have improved, but are still unsatisfactory
Danske Bank's CEO Thomas Borgen says financial results have improved, but are still unsatisfactory

Denmark's Danske Bank is set to issue its first dividend since the financial crisis began.

The move is a sign the bank is recovering from the financial crisis after lagging its Nordic peers due to burst property bubbles in Denmark and Ireland.

"Our financial results improved, but they were still unsatisfactory," Danske's chief executive Thomas Borgen said in the bank's full-year report.

"We still have a way to go to realise the full potential of Danske Bank, but we are confident that we are moving in the right direction," he added.

The proposed dividend of two crowns per share, the first since its pay-out for 2007, is higher than the 1.27 crown average forecast from analysts in a Reuters poll. 

Meanwhile, Danske Bank today reported a profit before tax from core activities of €1.5 billion (11.5 billion crowns) for last year. The net profit was 51% higher than in 2012 and in line with the bank's revised guidance. 

In its annual report published today, Danske said it was refocusing its former National Irish Bank activities in Ireland as the banking and economic climates are likely to remain challenging for the foreseeable future. 

It has already started to concentrate solely on corporate and institutional clients, discontinuing its retail and SME activities.

It said that Irish housing prices appear to have reached the bottom of their falls and have started to rise from their steep downturn.

The Danish bank its loan impairment charges fell to €561.2m from €1.267 billion in 20012 as a result of the improved macro economic situation in its core markets.

The bank, Denmark's largest, said it expected net profit of between 9-12 billion crowns (€1.2-1.6 billion) in 2014.

Its chief executive Eivind Kolding was ousted in September after only 19 months in the job, during which profits stagnated. Seven weeks into the job, his successor Borgen decided to shut down a large part of the Irish business and cut more jobs than the 3,000 already flagged by 2015.